Modern Footwear = Foot Problems
Modern shoes destroy our feet. From high heels to running shoes and casual loafers, nearly all modern footwear is designed for style, not function. This means that 98 percent of the shoes on the market squish your feet into unnatural shapes that lead to foot deformations, bunions, corns, and other complications.
This is not just a cosmetic problem.
Deformed feet don’t just look bad; the real problems can be much more serious. When your toes have poor dexterity, are squished, or overlapping, it impacts the way you walk, run, and stand. Deformed feet are a common cause or contributing cause of knee, hip, and back problems, as you often develop abnormal movement patterns to compensate for your imbalances.
ILLUSTRATION: The above images show a very common pattern of foot deformation. To see this
in real life, simply compare the feet of young children (under 5) with the feet of their parents.
Common aches and pains due to deformed feet:
- Corns and bunions
- Plantar fasciitis
- Ingrown toenails
- Knee pain and injury
- Back pain and injury
- Painful feet, ankles, and toes
- Poor posture
- Decreased athletic ability
- Increased risk of injury
- Hip problems (from affected gait)
Many podiatrists offer surgery, anti-inflammatory drugs, or shoe insoles as treatment, but these measures often fail in the long term—if you don’t fix the underlying problem, it’s very likely to return no matter what treatment option you choose. The harsh reality is that your feet have become deformed, and your footwear and lifestyle are keeping them that way. This needs to change.
What Type of Feet Do You Have?
Below are five common foot shapes, and while there are many more, chances are your ‘ideal foot’ falls into one of these categories.
Is there anything wrong with having your second toe longer than the rest? No. Is there anything wrong with having the same length toes all the way across? Again, no. Your ideal foot is unique to you and there are many different looking feet that are healthy and highly functional.
No matter what your foot shape, everyone wants to avoid overlapping toes, bunions, hammertoes, or toes that are unable to articulate properly. Our feet are not as dexterous as our hands, but they should be able to move freely and dynamically. The purpose of Awesome Toes!® Corrective Spacers is to bring your foot back to its natural shape, with strong, flexible, and useful toes that can help you balance, run, jump, lift, and support your weight to keep your body moving functionally for many years to come.
I was born with huge arches in my feet, and at age 10, a well-meaning doctor told me that I needed to get arch-supportive shoes and wear insoles for the rest of my life. An arch, as a structure, is one of the strongest in the world. You don’t see arched bridges with supports in the middle of them, but I didn’t know that then, so I followed my doctor’s orders.
Fast forward a few years. My feet were completely deformed and the first of my problems began. I grew up in a family of runners, but by the time I reached my teens, shin splints and tendonitis kept me off the road most days. My tendonitis pain was so bad, I was lucky to get five runs in a month. I must have started and stopped running dozens of times throughout my life, and each time it was the same: no matter what surface I ran on, how short or how long I ran, I’d always end up with some injury.
My deformed feet could not handle the load of the impact as I ran, and my high-tech shoes just made things worse by encouraging poor running posture. This seems obvious today, but it honestly never crossed my mind when I was younger.
At age 24, I discovered yoga and became an overnight addict. I loved the way I felt, and I learned to transform my body and posture very quickly. With yoga in my life, I concluded that running was simply not in the cards for me and completely quit to focus on my yoga practice.
Initially, I was terrible at yoga; I was stiff as a board and couldn’t balance at all. A typical yoga class consists of 50 percent standing poses and 50 percent seated poses. On the floor, I was OK, but any one-legged standing pose was impossible. Even the simplest balancing pose was very difficult for me, and I later learned many people experience the same frustration.
After class one day, I was complaining about my balance to a fellow student, and she shared with me a trick she’d been using at home. After years of wearing high heels to work, her feet were even worse than mine, and she’d been trying to fix them.
She said, ‘Wear foam toe spacers to bed!’
She was talking about the foam devices (usually pink with hearts or flowers on the top) used in nail salons to keep your toes separated while your nail polish dries. They are flimsy and look silly, but I was intrigued enough to give it a try.
That night, I got a pair of the foam toe separators and put them on just before bed. Fifteen minutes later, I woke up in excruciating pain and had to take them off. They were really stretching my feet! The next morning, I did 20 minutes of yoga at home, and the difference in my balance was remarkable. Just by using those simple toe spacers the night before, my balance improved and I realized that my toes were the big problem.
Being the nerdy yoga student I am, I started wearing those foam toe spacers every night. The pain was unbearable at first, but my feet were stretching out quickly and I could wear them for one hour, then two hours, and eventually up to four hours at a time.
But there were still issues.
The foam spacers were poorly made, uncomfortable, and wore out every three days. They aren’t designed to be worn for long periods of time, so they fall off when you try to do anything active, and they look downright ridiculous. Last but not least, the foam itself gets squished and they stop being effective.
Despite all these drawbacks, I kept buying them and using them, and the results speak for themselves. Over the course of a couple years, I went from a size 10 to a size 12 shoe, and I’m now nearly a size 13. My balance and posture improved, and eventually I was even able to start running again.
Stretching & Running with Toe Spacers – The Game Changer!
Ever since my own revelation, I’ve been teaching my yoga students to use foam spacers at night to improve their balance. It’s one of those ‘hacks’ that really works. Students are always amazed with the results, but a few years ago, I reached a plateau with my own feet. They were better than ever, but still needed a lot of work.
A new thought came to me: What if I could walk around and practice yoga while wearing toe spacers? I’d gotten such dramatic results wearing them lying down, what if I added light impact, dynamic movement, and stretching? With the cheap foam separators I used, this was impossible, so I began working directly with source manufacturers on more than a half-dozen different prototypes until I found the truly functional, durable, washable, hypoallergenic device that I wanted.
Introducing Awesome Toes!®
My team and I spent nine months in product research and development for Awesome Toes!® We consulted with yoga teachers, podiatrists, sports doctors, and more than 30 students who suffered from squished toes. The result? We created what I believe to be the best corrective toe spacers on the market. Awesome Toes!® are soft, yet durable, comfortable, and can be worn in bed, with flip flops, inside wide-toed athletic shoes, and even during yoga practice. I’m happy to report they’re everything I wanted and more.
An answer to your prayers,”says a medical doctor.
“I would highly recommend them to everyone who suffers from chronic foot pain, hammertoe, corns, bunions, blisters, or overlapping toes. Awesome Toes!® are designed to relieve foot pain and improve balance and posture. They can help you with yoga, dance, and running, and they are safe to use throughout your daily activities.
I would recommend you start using Awesome Toes slowly, for a maximum of 30 minutes per day in the beginning. You should start feeling the changes almost immediately, and after that, you can gradually increase the time you wear them.
As an orthopedics resident, I spend most of the day on my feet, walking around the hospital or standing in the operating room. At the end of the day my feet often hurt. When I started using Awesome Toes!®, I felt improvement in a matter of days. I noticed that they stretched my toes and brought them back to their natural position. They fit in my shoes, so I go for long walks or a run with them on, and they have definitely improved my feet.”
– Edin Mešanović, M.D.
Beyond Balance: Running & Feet Correction
My initial interest in fixing my feet was simple: I wanted better balance. But through the development, research, and testing for Awesome Toes!®, I learned that the benefits of corrective toe spacers go beyond just balance.
Recently, I started running again for the first time in more than a decade. I started slowly, but worked up to very strong, hill climb runs with no foot, shin, or tendon pain at all. I even completed my first half marathon, again with no foot pain—unbelievable! I’d long since given up the idea that I would be a runner, so it was an amazing surprise to be able to hit the trails again in my 30s—wearing Awesome Toes!® inside my shoes for every mile.
The results experienced by our users have been just as impressive. YOGABODY students around the world use Awesome Toes!® to help with conditions such as bunions, corns, hammertoe, overlapping toes, and plantar fasciitis. Like me, many people use them for balance, yoga postures, and running, too. Awesome Toes!® are not a magical cure for all foot problems, but the vast majority of our users experience real benefits (usually within days) and some have experienced turnarounds as dramatic as mine.
How to Use Awesome Toes!®
How to Use Awesome Toes!® :
- Good: In bed, while relaxing, while watching TV
- Better: While walking around the house, before/after work, casually
- Best: While practicing yoga, stretching, or inside your wide-toed athletic shoes
NOTE: When you first start using Awesome Toes!®, take it slow. We recommend wearing them for no more than one hour initially, but you’ll be able to work up to 4+ hours of continuous use. Awesome Toes!® is a big stretch for your feet and you should give your body time to ease into it.